"My dream has come true," a tearful João Carlos Barbosa told UEFA.com after the coach revealed he would be leaving UEFA Futsal Cup finalists Kairat Almaty for Russian club Sibiryak.
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João Carlos Barbosa, the most successful coach in Kairat Almaty's 18-year history, has parted ways with the Kazakh club to take charge of Russian side Sibiryak.
Barbosa's five-year spell in the Kairat hot seat yielded three successive league and cup doubles between 2007 and 2010, and the Brazilian twice guided his team to bronze medals in the UEFA Futsal Cup. His success also brought him the role of Kazakhstan national team coach.
"At the beginning of this week, I received an offer from Sibiryak," Barbosa told UEFA.com. "It was the perfect fit for me. I have always wanted to work in the strongest European leagues, and now my dream has come true.
"This is a new challenge and a chance to try something else. Kairat will always be in my heart. I spent five great years here and will miss the local fans and the beautiful city of Almaty, where two of my children were born."
He will be succeeded at Kairat by former Paraguay coach Marcão, who honed his skills by working as an assistant to Brazilian tactician Fernando Ferretti. Marcão is tasked with helping the league leaders lift a first national league trophy in three years, while attempting to replicate Barbosa's success at the upcoming UEFA Futsal Cup finals in Tbilisi.
Kairat will take on hosts Iberia Star Tbilisi, holders FC Barcelona and former winners MFK Dinamo of Russia in the knockout finals from 26 to 28 April.